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Image: Darren Winningham

Peter and Paul Snowden won’t hesitate to back-up any of their Pago Pago Stakes runners into the Golden Slipper if one or more of them can earn a last-ditch qualification for the juvenile showpiece.

The training partners will saddle up a quintet of two-year-olds in Saturday’s Group Two Pago Pago Stakes in the hope at least one of them can join Anaheed and possibly Catch Me in Saturday week’s Golden Slipper field.

“That’s the beauty of it, especially the horses that have raced, they can cop the racing and they’ve proven that so it would be no challenge for them to back-up a week later,” co-trainer Paul Snowden said.

The team’s five runners include debutant Famous, last-start Kensington winner Stronger and Autocratic who hasn’t raced since he finished midfield in the Breeders’ Plate last spring.

But it is Magic Millions placegetter Hightail and Skyline Stakes runner up Cosmic Force that Snowden rates most highly on exposed form.

“They’re the most experienced horses with the form on the board,” he said.

“I would assume they’re seed one and two but it wouldn’t shock me to see Autocratic or Famous running really well.”

Hightail hasn’t raced since his third to Exhilarates in the Magic Millions in January when he finished strongly from back in the field at what was his third start in as many weeks.

He will wear blinkers for the first time in the Pago Pago, a move Snowden hopes will prove significant.

“It’s been a gear change we’ve had up our sleeve since probably before the Magic Millions,” he said.

“We tossed about whether to put them on (at the Gold Coast) and we didn’t, but we’ve always felt like he needs that kind of gear change on and he gets that on Saturday.”

Cosmic Force has finished second at his past two starts and Snowden says he is unlucky not to already be assured a 2019 Golden Slipper berth.

He proved he could handle all surfaces with his second to Bivouac on a heavy track at Warwick Farm and beat all but Golden Slipper fancy Microphone in the Skyline.

 
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